Summary: What would the dead tell us if they could speak to us from beyond the grave?
"Dead Man Talking: the reality of a place called Hell"
In 1875 General William Booth shared what happened to be a prophetic message of the greatest danger facing the Church in the 20th Century of being a false gospel that would preach Conversion without Conviction, Renewal without Repentance, Salvation without Lordship and The church would believe in Heaven but not also believe in the reality of Hell. Believe that as we look at the church in the dawning of the 21st Century we see that General Booth obviously had a connection with the Spirit of God. We can say that because all we must do is look at the church with no power in it. All we have to do is study our beliefs and see that "easy believism" has taken over the church. A few years ago one of the largest denominations in the world noted more than 294,000 conversions in year from 11,500 churches across the world.
A year later only 14,000 of those new "converts" could be accounted for by the church and there were more than 280,000 missing in action. Where did they go? Is this a real problem? How do we justify our methods of evangelism when preachers like Finney and Moody and Spurgeon had almost an 80% retention rate 10 YEARS LATER! Is it merely because of "follow up"?
Can I share with you that the church is inoculating people against Christianity when they don’t preach all of what the word of God teaches? Do you remember when you got your shots as a child? When I was a police officer they gave us inoculation shots to protect us from contracting Hepatitis B. To inoculate someone and prevent them from getting a certain disease, is to introduce a miniscule amount of the disease so the body will produce natural agents of the body to fight the disease.
· Have you ever tried to witness to someone who "used to be a Christian"?
· Some of the most bitter and hard hearted people I’ve ever contacted
· I should know because I used to be one of them
If someone came to you as you were seated on an airplane and handed you a parachute telling you that it would improve your flight experience, would you put it on? If we put it on the first thing we would notice is that it was bulky and uncomfortable because it pressed against us as we were seated. We would also notice everyone looking at us and snickering at our foolishness. We would quickly take off the parachute when we realized that it hadn’t improved our flight experience and hide from the stares of those around us because our pride would be hurt.
On the other hand if someone came to another passenger on that same plane and handed us an identical parachute but told us that we would be needing it in a short time to jump out of the airplane, would that change the circumstances? Believe that we could honestly say we wouldn’t notice the bulkiness of strapping it to our back because we would know that in a short time this parachute would be the only thing to save our life when the moment came. We might indeed be whispered about and snickered at by the other passengers but knowing that we were coming to a moment of jumping from the aircraft, do you think you would take it off? No you wouldn’t take it off because you would know that the only hope you had when the time came to exit the aircraft was the parachute strapped to your back.
· Can you apply that spiritually?
The word used in the Greek to describe salvation is DUNAMIS, the root word for our English word DYNAMITE. It speaks of an explosive power that has an effect on everything around it. (ILLUSTRATE)
When I was born into the family of God they didn’t have to send a MEMBER SEARCH COMMITTEE to find out where I was! The didn’t have to send the Bible Police around during Sunday school to see if I had been reading my Bible nor did they have to cater to my every whim to keep me in the fellowship of believers! I had encountered the Lord Jesus Christ in a real and personal way and HE HAD WASHED ME CLEAN FROM THE SINS THAT HAD DOOMED ME TO HELL! Glory to God!
Oh, Brother Mike you used the H-E- double tooth picks word. Know what you’re thinking right now in the pew, the God that I serve is a God of Love and Mercy so he could never send someone to the place you call hell. Want to deal with that issue very quickly from the 10 Commandments that contrary to popular opinion haven’t become the 10 Suggestions. Do you remember the Commandment, You shall have no other gods before me?